WASHINGTON--With the potential of Assistant Veterans Affairs Secretary Tammy Duckworth running for the House from the new Illinois 8th District, I asked Raja Krishnamoorthi--already in the contest--on Wednesday if he would step aside for the better known candidate and the answer for now is no.
"I'm in this race," he told me. "I have great respect for her and other potential candidates, but I am in this race and what I need to focus on are the issues voters care about right now, such as the economy and the middle class, medicare and public education I also am focusing on what it it would take for me to win."
Click below for Krishnamoorthi memo on his prospects and lists of endorsements....
Click here for my column on Duckworth resigning from the VA and the formidable resume she brings if she decides to run.
Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to sign the Democratic-drawn Illinois congressional remap....
Illinois Republicans have a fund-raiser Wednesday night in Washington for their legal fund to fight the Democratic remap in federal court.
below, from Krishnamoorthi....
NEW STATISTICS SHOW RAJA IS WELL-SUITED FOR NEW 8TH DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Krishnamoorthi Beat Party-Backed Candidate by 2-1 Margin in 2010 Democratic Primary
A little more than a year ago, Raja (RAJ-jah) Krishnamoorthi (krish-nah-MOOR-thee) faced a well-funded, party-backed candidate in the Democratic primary for Comptroller, and Raja beat that opponent by more than a 2-1 margin in what is the newly-redistricted 8th Congressional District. Rep. David Miller was a longtime state legislator with a significant media buy of $1 million and a great ballot name running against Raja, who was a first-time candidate. As statewide candidates, Raja and Miller ran in every precinct that makes up the new 8th District.
In the 13 townships in Cook, DuPage and Kane County that make up the new 8th Congressional District, Raja received 61.9 percent of the Democratic primary vote compared to 29.3 percent for David Miller. Raja swept to victory in all 13 townships. For example, Raja defeated Miller in Schaumburg Township by approximately 60.0% to 30.0%, in York Township by 67.5% to 25.7%, and in Elgin Township by 55.5% to 35.5%.
That performance at the polls and Raja's fundraising prowess have garnered attention for Raja's run for Congress with the Daily Kos writing last month that "Krishnamoorthi may face a primary but is expected to be formidable."
The Chicago Sun-Times wrote on June 8, 2011 that Krishnamoorthi, 37, president of a successful suburban high-tech business, "has been busy locking up endorsements from the lion's share of local Democrats. Five of the six Cook County Democratic committeemen in the district are on board. The DuPage County Democratic township leaders and the Democratic chairs of DuPage and Kane County have endorsed him. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is a supporter."
The new 8th Congressional District includes a base of community support for a candidate like Raja Krishnamoorthi. Of the 18 cities in Illinois with the largest Asian Indian population according to 2010 U.S. Census data, 11 of those cities are in the new 8th Congressional District. The new 8thCongressional District also has an Asian population of 12.26 percent, the second highest among congressional districts in Illinois (9th District has 12.64%).
Raja's message of common sense problem solving and a focus on economic development will resonate throughout the 8th District, along with what theChicago Tribune called his "innovative ideas" to make government more open, transparent and accountable that led the state's largest newspaper to endorse his candidacy a little more than a year ago for statewide office and write that Krishnamoorthi was a "game-changer." Raja is also rooted in the community as he and his wife have been raising their two sons in Hoffman Estates, and his wife is a physician at St. Alexius Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the district.
For more information about Raja and his campaign, please visit www.rajaforcongress.com.
Here is a full list of Raja's supporters:
Abner Mikva, former U.S. Judge, Congressman, and White House Counsel
Newton Minow, former Chairman of the FCC
Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President
Danny Davis, U.S. Congressman
David Wilhelm, former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Fred Crespo, State Representative
Jack Franks, State Representative
Dave Koehler, State Senator
Billy Marovitz, former State Senator & Democratic State Central Comm.
Tom Villanova, President, Chicago and Cook County Bldg. Trades Council
Bob Peickert, DuPage County Democratic Chairman
Mark Guethle, Kane County Democratic Chairman
Tim Bradford, Vice-Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party
Rocco Terranova, Schaumburg Township Democratic Committeeman
Nancy Shepherdson, 8th CD Democratic State Central Committeewoman
Christine Cegelis, 6th CD Democratic State Central Committeewoman
Robert Wagner, 6th CD Democratic State Central Committeeman
Larry Rogers, Jr., Commissioner, Cook County Board of Review
Mike Alvarez, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
Larry Walsh, Will County Executive
Amy Rohrer, Executive Director, DuPage County Democrats
Melinda Bush, Lake County Board member
Pat Carey, Lake County Board member
Bill Powers, Barrington Township Democratic Committeeman
Trudy Zaja, Hanover Park Township Democratic Committeeman
Sue Walton, Palatine Township Democratic Committeeman
Sam Yingling, Avon Township Supervisor
Wendy Warden, First Vice-Chair of the 8th CD Democrats
Mike Braun, Addison Township Democratic Chair
Mark Feldstein, Avon Township Democratic Chair
Pete Null, Bloomingdale Township Democratic Chair
Tim Jackson, Ela Township Democratic Chair
Dave McArtin, Grant Township Democratic Chair
Ed Erwin, Lake Villa Township Democratic Chair
Marian Tomlinson, Milton Township Democratic Chair
Gale Cohen DeMarco, Wauconda Township Democratic Chair
Ted Lonis, Wayne Township Democratic Chair
Carol Davis, York Township Democratic Chair
Bob Frankel, Schaumburg Township Library Board
Debby Miller, Schaumburg Township Library Board
Nick Scipione, Schaumburg Township Library Board
Schaumburg Area Democrats
Asian-American Action Fund of Greater Chicago
Indo-American Democratic Organization
Sheet Metal Workers, Local #73
Painters District Council #30
Raja Krishnamoorthi, 37, of Hoffman Estates has a unique mix of private and public experience that will enable him to help secure our economic future while bringing efficiencies to government and protecting the taxpayer's pocketbook. Through his high-level business experience, Raja understands what it takes to meet a budget, innovate new products and put people to work by growing high-tech businesses. He also has a proven ability to fight government corruption and cut costs.
Raja currently serves as President of Sivananthan Laboratories, a Bolingbrook-based business dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of cutting-edge products and technologies in national security and renewable energy. The company specializes in night vision military technology, solar cells, biosensors to detect weapons of mass destruction, and radiation detectors.
Before joining his current company, Raja served as Deputy Treasurer for Illinois where he helped revamp the state's unclaimed property system by increasing the amount of returned property while cutting the program's costs. He also helped to run the technology venture capital fund, which has helped create hundreds of good-paying jobs in Illinois.
In 2006, Raja was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General to help start her Public Integrity Unit. Before that, he served as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee.
The son of Indian immigrants to the U.S., Raja was raised in Peoria, where he attended public schools and graduated as a valedictorian of his high school class. Raja earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1995 and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School in 2000.
Following law school, Raja clerked for a federal judge in Chicago and rose to become a partner in the international law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He served as issues director for Barack Obama's successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2004 and as an advisor to his successful presidential campaign in 2008.
In 2010, Raja ran for the Democratic nomination for Illinois State Comptroller, earning enthusiastic endorsements from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times for his focus on bringing greater transparency and fiscal discipline to government finances. He missed winning the nomination by approximately one percent.
As a resident of Hoffman Estates, Raja served on the Village's Comprehensive Planning Advisory Commission.
Raja is married to Priya, a doctor at St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates. They have two sons: Vijay, 5, who attends Winston Churchill Elementary School, and Vikram, who is 2.